A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, January 1.
Wrong place for development
Increasingly up and down the country more and more residential and business areas are succumbing to flooding – even where adequate flood defences were thought to be in place.
Constantly, the Environment Agency is urging local authorities and developers not to build on or close to flood plains, and not to put built-up areas and farmland downstream at risk.
Our council, councillors and MP have decided to ignore this advice and support theAbbots Vale development along Rushbrooke Lane: 1,200 homes, school, shops and community services in the River Lark valley, covering over 168 acres with much of the surface sealed by asphalt, concrete, paviors etc, with the areas of each, in the long term, impossible to control.
Immediately downstream is our town with very little flood defence, so easily inundated by water from the development rushing into the Lark. Areas of the town have flooded in the past. Has the protected Abbot’s Bridge, the main pinch point, got the capacity?
Of course, some will say this is just factless scaremongering. The land owners and developers have a financial interest, as well as the local authority – which is charged with building 5,000 homes to satisfy Westminster.
I have done a U-turn, originally thinking the site was suitable but now after studying the Master Plan – www.westsuffok.gov.uk/South-east-BSEMasterplan – and recent weather patterns, I am convinced the development is a no-starter, no matter what assurances are given.
The mindset that Bury enjoys some sort of divine protection from flooding is ludicrous. Yes, we urgently need more homes, especially affordable ones, but how much more evidence do we need? The risk is just too great: far safer areas exist.
If ever there was a time for openness, honesty and transparency from our council councillors, MP and developers, surely it is now – before it’s too late?
If you would like to share your thoughts photos, etc. go towww.facebook.com/buryfloodrisk
-- Simon Harding, Bury St Edmunds
Thank you for your generosity
On behalf of East Anglian Children’s Hospices (EACH), I would like to say a very sincere thank you to the students and staff of County Upper School for their recent very generous donation to EACH.
This school has a well-established tradition of not only raising large sums of money for charity but also for helping out at charity events.
I never cease to be amazed by this and for the enthusiasm and innovative ways in which they do so. Well done to all of you.
As with all hospices, EACH relies very heavily on the public to raise the £16,000 needed daily to offer care and support to families in need of help, so this donation is very much appreciated.
-- Sheila Brown, Volunteer speaker and fund-raiser for EACH
Rubbish bins disappearing
What is wrong with our council? If you visit almost anywhere else, ample bins are provided to dispose of your rubbish. Not in Bury. They seem to be removing all bins slowly over the course of time, apart, of course, the numerous ones surrounding the council offices themselves.
The most recent I have noticed missing is in the wood adjoining the college. A dog bin has been there for a very long time but I went to use it this week and it has disappeared. The litter bin further up the car park next to the student shelter disappeared earlier in the year.
The dog bin was used by many people and access to empty it is not a problem. I say this because when I queried with the council the disappearance of a bin along Newmarket Road last year, I was told it wasn’t used enough and it was difficult to access.
There are virtually no bins along Westley Road and none at all on the Denham Close/Hepworth Road estate. There were two in the play area on the estate but both of these have now disappeared. Again they were well used.
-- Lesley Burroughs, via email
We’re opposing illogical cuts
Suffolk’s Fire Fighters can rely on 100 per cent support from Labour councillors in their fight to get the proposed cuts to the fire service debated by all the Suffolk county councillors.
The Fire Brigades Union is running a petition and we are urging all Suffolk residents to sign it, if they want to stop the closure of fire stations, running down of the number of fire engines, and redundancy for fire fighter crews.
At the recent county council meeting, held on the same day as the FBU’s petition was announced, I called on the Conservative administration to hold proper public consultation on their proposed cuts to the full-time fire service in Lowestoft.
The cuts proposed by the Conservative Cabinet to the full-time station in South Lowestoft and the Wrentham Fire Station, as well as other stations across the county, are illogical and ideologically driven. They will endanger Suffolk people and make it more difficult for our brave fire crews to do their jobs.
Our argument was that the very least the Conservative administration can do is carry out a proper and thorough consultation with the public at events across the county, including in Lowestoft. In this way, they will at least be able to fully understand the impact that these cuts will have on the public’s sense of wellbeing and safety in communities across Suffolk.
I, and all Labour councillors, stand with the Fire Brigades Union in Suffolk in opposing these cuts and urge anyone that agrees with us to sign their petition calling for a full debate on the matter. If we can get the issue decided by all Suffolk’s councillors – instead of just the Conservative Cabinet – there is a real chance we can get these dangerous cuts overturned.
-- Cllr Peter Gardiner, Labour group spokesman on Public Protection
Fantastic care at West Suffolk
Please print this letter so I can make public my praise of the West Suffolk NHS Hospital at Bury St Edmunds and thank all the staff there.
I arrived at A& Eat 4.30 pm with a very high pulse and a possible heart attack and was assessed by 5pm and I was in care by 5.30pm then moved to a ward the next day. From the word go I was treated with kindness and amazing care by all in an environment that looked like the interior of a spacecraft. Everywhere was spotlessly clean, I was wheeled around from ward to ward via x-ray. How they know where you are is a miracle. Thank you all at the West Suffolk Hospital.
I hope this letter drives out the constant tirade against the NHS.
One day we all might realise that the NHS’s problems are caused by their own success. Many of us are here now 10 years longer due to their care and attention and if we had a little less problem with drink and drugs we wouldn’t block the way for those who really need help.
-- Robin Upton, via email
A haven for visitors
May I take this opportunity on behalf of the Ickworth Church Conservation Trust to thank you for the support and coverage you have given us during the last year. Your coverage on our ‘Carol by Candlelight’ Concert which was held last Sunday, helped us to welcome around 130 people to attend, which helped make a significant contribution to our charitable funds to be able continue the ongoing maintenance of the church.
I would like to take this opportunity to also thank all of the people and volunteers who have attended concerts and services during the year to help us keep our beautifully restored church such a peaceful haven for those visiting Ickworth Park. We look forward to welcoming you again during 2016.
-- John Porter, Church Co-ordinator & Fund Raiser